Sadly for some students and joyously for some parents, the 2023-24 school year kicks off next week in Rio Rancho.

Jump-start day for sixth and ninth graders is Aug. 2 with all students starting on Aug. 3.

Here’s everything you need know ahead of the new year, courtesy of Rio Rancho Public Schools:

New start times

Due to changes in required instructional hours and days, Rio Rancho Public Schools needed to adjust start times for the 2023-24 school year. New start times are:

  • Early elementary schools*: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Late elementary schools: 9:20 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.
  • Middle schools: 8:40 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
  • High schools: 7:20 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.

(* Colinas del Norte, Ernest Stapleton and Puesta del Sol only.)

School bus information

Every school day, more than 8,000 students walk to bus stops and board one of more than 60 buses to get to school within RRPS. Many others walk, ride bikes or drive themselves to school or are driven there by parents, other family members or caregivers. All of these methods of getting to school have one thing in common: safety. Here are some simple ways to keep children safe on their way to and from school:

Walking or riding a bike to school or to a school bus stop:

  • Adhere to all public health orders or school safety measures currently in place
  • Parents or guardians should show their children a safe walking path to use and encourage them to follow that path
  • Obey all traffic signals, signs and/or crossing guards; use crosswalks where available
  • Walk bikes through intersections
  • Walk with a buddy, if possible, and be aware of the surroundings
  • Never talk to or respond to strangers. If a stranger approaches or tries to get a child to come to him/her, the child should run home, to a neighbor’s house or another safe place such as a business and ask an adult for help
  • Reflective material makes walkers and bicyclists more visible to street traffic
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bike

At the bus stop:

  • Adhere to all public health orders or school safety measures currently in place
  • Know your school bus number
  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive
  • While waiting for the bus, stand at least 10 feet away from the curb and line up away from the street
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens and the driver says it is OK to board before getting onto the bus
  • Be sure that the bus driver can see you if you need to cross the street to reach the school bus, and that you can see the driver when crossing the street. Be sure to watch for traffic coming both ways. If you need to cross the street, do so in front of the bus.
  • When you are dropped off at school or at the bus stop, walk 10 giant steps away from the bus
  • Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus
  • If you drop something near or under the bus, tell the bus driver. Do not attempt to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you
  • School buses are loaded and unloaded at established school bus stops only unless an emergency dictates otherwise
  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to supervise their children at all school bus stops before and after school

While on the bus:

  • Adhere to all public health orders and school safety measures currently in place
  • Do not talk to the driver unless it is necessary
  • Stay in your assigned seat and face forward. Stand up only after the bus has stopped at the bus stop or at the school
  • No eating or drinking on the bus
  • No yelling or shouting; it distracts the driver. Speak in a low voice
  • Never throw anything on the bus
  • Never stick anything out of the window (arms, legs, head, books, etc.)
  • Keep aisles and exits clear and personal belongings under control (backpacks, musical instruments, etc.)

Students qualify for bus transportation if they live more than one mile away from an elementary school, more than one and a half miles from a middle school, or more than two miles from a high school.

To find your student’s bus stop, click here.

School supplies

Free school meals

Meals will be free for all K-12 students during the 2023-24 school year, but RRPS is urging families to submit free lunch applications to ensure that other initiatives and funding continue.

To encourage families to submit applications, RRPS is giving away a brand-new 65-inch television to one applicant. Anyone who submits an application for their student will automatically be entered to win.
To submit an application and help ensure your child’s school continues to receive the correct funding, click here.

Dress code

Chromebook insurance